Non-Markovian quantum processes: Complete framework and efficient characterization

Felix A. Pollock, César Rodríguez-Rosario, Thomas Frauenheim, Mauro Paternostro, Kavan Modi

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102 Citations (Scopus)
482 Downloads (Pure)


Currently, there is no systematic way to describe a quantum process with memory solely in terms of experimentally accessible quantities. However, recent technological advances mean we have control over systems at scales where memory effects are non-negligible. The lack of such an operational description has hindered advances in understanding physical, chemical, and biological processes, where often unjustified theoretical assumptions are made to render a dynamical description tractable. This has led to theories plagued with unphysical results and no consensus on what a quantum Markov (memoryless) process is. Here, we develop a universal framework to characterize arbitrary non-Markovian quantum processes. We show how a multitime non-Markovian process can be reconstructed experimentally, and that it has a natural representation as a many-body quantum state, where temporal correlations are mapped to spatial ones. Moreover, this state is expected to have an efficient matrix-product-operator form in many cases. Our framework constitutes a systematic tool for the effective description of memory-bearing open-system evolutions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number012127
JournalPhysical Review A
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jan 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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